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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.
World

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Caritas: The EU agreement with Turkey to expel refugees is unacceptable

2016-03-15

Syrian war enters its sixth year with a landmark ceasefire, for now. 

In Syria, the "Arab Spring” became a winter that has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people, according to the UN. Although other sources such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say that the figure rises to more than 370,000 victims.

The last three weeks have been fairly calm. The conflicting parties except the Islamic State and Al-Nusra, a subsidiary of Al Qaeda, have respected the truce initiated by Russia and the United States. A small step for Caritas Internationalis in regards to peace.

MICHEL ROY
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
"The fact that the ceasefire has been more or less follow for the last three weeks now is a good sing that the people want to stop the war and it can come only for the Syrians themselves so what the International Community has to do is to accompany this process, to strengthen it, to stop selling arms to everyone, to stop buying oil from Daesh which is still the case.”

On the other hand, we continue to see these images: Thousands of desperate people, parents who prefer to risk their lives and those of their children at sea because what is on land is infinitely worse.

Now, they crowded into Idomeni, at the Greek border with Macedonia, because the former Yugoslav republic has unilaterally decided to block their path.

MICHEL ROY
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
"As Church we have to open arms. We have to work on the reasons why they've left and this is the priority but since they are coming we have to welcome them.”

Europe has failed to fulfill all the promises of resettlement of these refugees. Rather it has abandoned them, forgetting  about Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognizes the right of asylum.

MICHEL ROY
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
"There is this paradox between why the European Union was created for in the past to avoid such tensions and to welcome those who are escaping from violence and yes, violations of human rights and now doors closing and this is warning for the future of Europe as well.”

But the EU intends to go further with an agreement with Turkey that would hold a massive deportation. In exchange for 3,000 million for Ankara could get rid of refugees.

MICHEL ROY
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
"This step that the European Union has taken with the Turkish government is not understandable, is unacceptable and is a very shorten vision.”

It is estimated that over 70 percent of the population remaining in Syria survives below the poverty line. Since the beginning of the war, the life expectancy of the Syrians has fallen from 70 to 50 years. Should they ever reach peace, it will take several generations to recover what five years of senseless destruction have contributed to.


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